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Flavorx expands in wide open market

By Kirsty Barnes, 18-Nov-2005

Related topics: Regulatory & Safety

US company Flavorx will make good tasting medicine a reality when it expands its blockbuster medication flavours into the UK pharmacy market, after a continuous stream of consumer and business interest.

Company directors will meet with several prominent UK pharmacy retailers next month to solidify initial deals, which will see flavored medications available in UK pharmacies by early next year.

The move is prompted by >Flavorx market research, indicating the demand in the UK for a solution to the issue of medical non-compliance due to foul taste or smell parallels that of the demand of the American consumer.

 

The product is already proving incredibly successful in the US, Canada and Australia, and is now available in half the total pharmacies in the US (over 35,000).

 

Using Canada as a benchmark, the company expects to capture 25% of the UK market within the first year, generating around $1 million (€850,000).

 

Flavorx initially plans to keep manufacturing within the US but hope to be in a position to start manufacturing in UK within the next 1-2 years.

 

Since humble beginnings 12 years ago, success of Flavorx has snowballed. It is one of the 500 fastest growing companies, and now flavours over 50 million prescriptions worldwide.

 

The company have captured a niche market and product demand is escalating, particularly in the US, where nearly 3 billion prescriptions are filled each year.

 

Flavorx has invented a methodology that makes medications more palatable by allowing pharmacists to safely turn any bitter or foul-tasting tablet, liquid or capsule, into a readily-accepted, flavored liquid, at minimal cost to the consumer.

 

At the patient's request, the pharmacist can add the appropriate Flavorx flavors to the medication prior to dispensing using simple instructions provided by the company.

 

Flavorx is the only company providing pharmaceutical flavors to pharmacists that are specifically for medicines, which are also FDA tested and approved, and is therefore poised for continued success.

 

"It would be very cost and time consuming for anyone to come into this market with a competitive product," said Kenny Kramm, Flavorx's president and CEO.

 

The success of the product hinges around the fact that it fills a world-wide gap in the market, as the problem of foul-tasting medication and resultant poor medication compliance are global issues, which have until now been poorly addressed.

 

In particular, this is a problem that many parents face when trying to get children to take medication.

 

According to Kramm, "Some might think that the taste or smell of a medication is just a novelty. However, a medication, no matter how good it is, has no intrinsic value if a patient can't ingest it. Taste and smell are your two main culprits."

 

Recent studies confirm this, showing that one third of US adults who have been prescribed drugs to take regularly, report that they are often or very often noncompliant with their treatment. 19 per cent of these stated it was because of unpleasant tasting medicine.

 

"As a result, a problem is that many people have had to attempt to mask bad flavoured medication themselves, by mixing it with certain more appealing ingredients, but this can be a dangerous practice," said Kramm.

 

"Many medicines have active ingredients that are highly reactive and sensitive to food and drink, which can not only negatively impact medication absorption and efficacy but can also cause dangerous side effects or other problems," he said.

 

Medicines flavoured by Flavorx, however, are shown to not only ease stress but also reduce the length of illness by increasing compliance, according to yet-to-be published clinical paediatric studies from Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, New Jersey, sponsored by Flavorx.

 

Flavorx flavors are sugar-free, non-allergenic, dye-free, alcohol-free, sodium free, very concentrated so only a small quantity of the inert drops need to be added to even a large bottle of medicine and therefore side effects are non existent, the company said.

 

Seeing the product's potential for children, Flavorx has been working in conjunction with a non-profit organization in Thailand, Dominican Republic and parts of Africa to provide its flavour technology free of charge to impoverished children, particularly those with HIV, to help medication compliance.

 

Due to the success of the program, the company has been asked to make the product commercially available in Thailand and is now preparing to put the product through the Thai regulatory approval to facilitate this.

 

Meanwhile, with 42 flavorings available, and more in development, the company will continue to saturate the US market, with chain store giant Wal-Mart beginning to carry the product as of next week.